Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Insanity is just a stubbed toe away…

This week has been one of the most mentally stressful I can remember. It seems that everything has been piling up and crashing down at all at once. Nothing that has turned me into an emotional wreck, mind you. No major tragedies or things that have made me profoundly sad, just a pile of logistical nightmares that I've had to juggle that have had me on the brink of "postal".

First and foremost stresser – finances:

This always has me stressed when I think about it too much, but this week in particular. I use my debit card for everything. I almost NEVER carry cash anymore. I knew my account was getting a bit low, but I figured there was no need to panic until my card came back "declined" somewhere. I asked Sonya to stop by my work and pick up my check and deposit it for me on Friday, as I was heading to Monroe for the day and wouldn't be available. She didn't have time. Meanwhile, I used my card for necessities like lunch and gas, with no problems and no hint anything was wrong.

It seems, despite having turned this feature off SEVERAL times over the years, my bank has been extending me a "courtesy". My bank decided to spare me the "embarrassment" of having my card declined, so they continued to pay my charges – to the tune of a $5 per transfer from my saving when the checking went to zero and $21 service fee per transaction when the savings was exhausted. Yea. Thanks SO much for saving me the embarrassment and just CHARGING ME $280 OVER 3 DAYS WHILE THE BANK WAS CLOSED!!!

I go to the bank on Saturday to deposit my miniscule Blockbuster check (since my REAL paycheck from Custom Music was sitting locked up at the store for the weekend) and notice the big, fat minus after my balance even AFTER the deposit. I freak out a bit but figure we can survive the weekend and fix it Monday. Now, I'm all for honoring our veterans, but Bank Holidays fucking piss me off. Why is it the REST of the world keeps working and moving, but banks and federal services get the fucking day off!!!??? So, we have to survive on nothing till Tuesday.

Next stresser – work:

The reason I was in Monroe on Friday was to try my hand at a new job. My supervisor at Custom Music (the one I actually LIKE), Kevin, is starting a distributorship for a new line of band instruments. Good, quality stuff at reasonable prices, but he needs salesmen who can actually SELL to the retailers. I went down to his offices to make some cold calls and see if I couldn't set up a few meetings with some retailers in Ohio and get a few orders. I did pretty damned well, too. Set up 5 meetings my first day and planned 2 road trips to show samples. I was looking forward to this job perhaps slowly replacing my income at Custom Music. Not in any short timeframe, mind you, and I had no plans to just up and leave a steady income for the touch-and-go nature of commission. There was the opportunity for some extra Holiday cash though, selling at least the samples to the stores I visited while they test them out.

I get to work on Monday and the dipshit troll of an owner, Fred, comes in all fire and brimstone, yelling things about company loyalty and how Kevin is selling me nothing but empty promises. Never mind that Kevin isn't selling ANYTHING in direct competition to Fred, but Fred doesn't want me working for him. He gives me an ultimatum that if I work for Kevin, I don't work for Custom Music, giving up the primary source on income for my family.

I wanted to pummel the man with a tuba mouthpiece right then and there. I finally am given an opportunity to use my skills (sales) in a medium I know and understand (band instruments), and this megalomaniacal motherfucker tells me I can't. I can't just quit and go to the sales job because sales don't show big money until you build a client base. With bills piled high as the Great Wall and Christmas looming, that's way too many eggs in one basket.

ANOTHER stresser – family:

My mother has been struggling with her weight for years and is by all possible definitions, morbidly obese. She had a bout with congestive heart failure several years ago, but seemed to learn a lesson from it and was on the mend. She was losing weight for a time (or at least not GAINING weight), and was regaining some mobility.

Recently, however, she has been on a steady downward spiral of inactivity and overeating. She's gotten good at hiding it, but my sister is a bloodhound about it and busted her. Apparently, she called a neighbor to ask her to pick some of her diabetic supplies up from the drug store while my grandfather was in rehab, recovering from surgery. She then asked said neighbor to pick up 3 bags of Halloween candy, under the auspices that her grandchildren were coming over and she wanted to give them something for a belated Trick-or-Treat.

She only got one giant bag of candy, but ate the WHOLE BAG in one night. She also managed to eat about 6 servings of vegetable beef soup – also in one night.

Last night My sister and I staged an intervention, explaining to her exactly how all of this makes us feel and how it affects the rest of the family. I read her the riot act about using MY KIDS in a LIE to a well-intentioned neighbor, so she can defy her doctor, father, and all common sense and gorge herself on candy. I was absolutely livid. Promises were made, but more importantly, action plans were implemented where my sister and I can keep on her. Here's hoping.

The DE-stresser - quartet:

Originally, I had accidentally booked one of my road trips for the new sales job on the day of a quartet gig (serves me right for not using my planner). This had me a bit panicked at first, but then I got an e-mail from our bass that he couldn't make the gig anyway. Okay, so I have to cancel the gig, but at least I didn't have to call my clients to reschedule. I call the gal we booked with and she manages to reschedule the gig for a mutually workable time. Cool! We still get the gig an subsequent money!

Then I get forwarded an email for another gig…then another…then a phone call for another. In the span of four hours we went from having to cancel our only gig to suddenly having FOUR! At $65 a pop for each of us, suddenly the extra Christmas money was seeming a bit easier to come by.

Things continue to pile up, but some of the pieces are beginning to fall into place. I'm off to the bank to yell at them and get those service fees refunded and the "courtesy" feature disabled on our cards. I'll continue to play Tetris with the pieces of my life and attempt to stack all these pieces of my crazy life neatly, so, hopefully, I won't get overwhelmed by it all and can enjoy the Holidays this year.

Yea…and Fred Phelps might join the cast of Rent…

Coming up next: The Halloween Blog – FINALLY!

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